Where True Freedom Is Found

true-freedom1I was going through marginal notes / verses that I had underlined in the book of Exodus yesterday and something really interesting popped out at me.

Exodus is about the Israelites leaving Egypt and heading to the Promised Land. It’s about a journey. From bondage… to freedom. Burning bush. Plagues. Ten Commandments. Golden Calf. Stuff like that. Not a seamless line but a trek full of rebellion, remorse, and restoration. Kind of like our lives.

But what jumped out at me was how it ends. You would think, as a writer, that you would want to bring some sort of ‘closure’ to the purpose of the book. The journey should end with the arrival at the destination. Wouldn’t that make sense?

But it doesn’t happen that way. The last chapter starts wth the assembly of the tabernacle and tent of meeting that the Israelites were to use to meet and present their sacrifices to God.

But then God shows up. “Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Moses could not enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.” (Exodus 40:34-35 NIV).

Maybe, just maybe… this ‘is’ the destination for the book of Exodus. For we all set out on a journey from brokenness to healing. We all yearn to be rescued from who we ‘are’ to who we know we ‘can be’. From bondage, to freedom.

And it is here that we see where freedom may be found… in His Presence. We come expecting. He comes filling.

2Corinthians 3:17 says “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” Freedom from our past. Freedom from the junk we’ve faced this past week. Freedom from what is stopping us from moving forward in His plan for our lives.

So today, as we roll out of beds all over the place and head to church, be reminded that being in His Presence is the chief end of the pursuit. That as we come together, we leave all that is holding us back and are led to experience the freedom of being found in His Presence.

At least that’s how I see it,

 

C

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Get Over It!

I think we all have things in our life that we wished we had never done. Mistakes. Bad choices. Failed attempts to do the right thing.

But too often we hang the mantle of our purpose on the coat rack of our past instead of discovering the potential of our purpose by wearing it with courage and conviction.

At least that’s how I see it,

 

C

PS – Here is a clip from Kerry’s message a couple of weeks ago addressing this very thing. Enjoy.

 

Which Man Will I Be Today?

I have to be honest with you. I have personal pep talks every day.

No, I don’t look in the mirror and yell “YOU CAN DO IT!!!!” like some crazed Rob Schneider with a sombrero on my head! No, every day I need to remind myself of who I am, and Whose I am.

I know each day (each moment actually), I can be one of two men: the man whose desires are momentary and probably self-seeking, or the man whose desires are to honour and serve the One who loves me and has purposed a greater life in me.

So I choose (or at least attempt to choose) the man who God desires me to be… knowing that He who has done GREAT things in my life, has planned even GREATER if I choose to follow Him.

At least that’s how I see it,

 

C

THE POWER OF THE PLASTIC THINGY

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Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (Galatians 6:10 NIV)

You’ve probably experienced it too. Tearing open the wrapping paper, opening up the box, and there you have it… a WATCH!!! Maybe that doesn’t excite you. Some people like watches, some don’t… but that’s not the point here. It’s in what happens next!

You stare at this watch face that seems frozen in time. Hands ready to fulfill their purpose. Gears tucked inside that you cannot see that are just waiting to interlock and command these two small pieces of metal to circulate in such a specific way that for years to come the bearer of this watch will always know what time it is… except for one problem. You haven’t pulled off the plastic thingy. You know… the plastic thingy that keeps the battery from draining before you open it.

And that my friend, is how little you need to stop the flow of its power. And likewise, it only takes the smallest of barriers to bring one’s purpose and ability to accomplish so much to a grinding halt. Simply place something in the way of connecting with others and with God and voila… you are now stuck in time… just like that watch.

Every day is flooded with opportunities. Opportunities to do nothing. Opportunities to do something. Paul says here that we should take these opportunities that God has given us to ‘connect’ with those around us. Remove the plastic thingies in your life that keep you from connecting with others and do something good for those around you. Make their lives better.

I think you’ll be surprised to find out that as you make their lives better, you’ll end up making your life better as well. For you’ll notice that once you start connecting with others around you and touching their lives, you’ll find out that it was all part of God’s plan from the beginning… all you needed to do was pull off the plastic thingy.

At least that’s how I see it,

Craig

Die Like You Are Living

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“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” – (John 11:35 NIV)

Death is a part of life. It’s truly an unfortunate part of life… but it’s part of life nonetheless. Some people are waiting to die. Every morning is another admission that their journey on this side of the grass is not finished yet. They wait, and wait, and wait some more. They wait, because they don’t see a purpose to their existence on this side of eternity.

But there are others who understand that ‘this’ side of the fence is simply just the first round of an eternity ahead of them. And these people choose to make the most of ‘this’ time instead of waiting for death to ultimately, and without exception, make its invitation to eternity.

I like that Jesus told us that through Him we find life… not ‘after they die’, but ‘even though they die’. That means that He is life now… in the present… at this very moment.

I like that we can choose to experience His Life in all that we do today, and tomorrow, and the next day… and each and every day that He gives us until His timing says that it is the appropriate time for us to experience the next wave of His life… eternity.

So today I choose to live my day in the Life that He alone can give. And I’ll choose to live life as long as my heart is beating. For death is only a ‘part’ of life; not the finality of it… so I choose not to live today like I’m dying… but rather die someday in the midst of fully living.

At least that’s how I see it,

Craig